Apr 3, 2023
5 min read

Should inclusive design be a UX concern

Illustration of a diverse group of people, by svsunny, Adobe Stock
Illustration of a diverse group of people, by svsunny, Adobe Stock

The data may surprise you.

Is inclusive design really necessary for creating great user experiences?

If you look at how often inclusive design is discussed in UX design articles, courses, books, etc., you’re likely to think inclusive design is optional or gold-plating.

UX design articles rarely promote inclusive design as a foundational principle; instead its typically discussed as a ‘speciality’ field. Designing for disabilities is gaining some traction but designing for inclusiveness of other aspects of our identities — our race/ethnicity, gender, skin color, age, size, sexual orientation — is still widely overlooked.

People in leadership positions — C-suite executives, product owners, product managers — need data for motivation and justification to allocate resources to user research and inclusive design. So, I pulled together some data about users, their experiences, and their expectations about inclusive products to share with leadership in your company/organization…


The World Health Organization reports that 15% of people worldwide (1.2 billion) live with some form of disability. Nonetheless, evaluations of home pages for the top 1 million websites have found very little improvement in web accessibility over the past four years. The percentages of homepages with inaccessibility issues have been: 97.8% in 2019 and 2020, 97.4% in 2021, and 96.8% in 2022.

Should disability-inclusive design be a UX concern?

Chart showing homepages with accessibility failures, 2019–2022
Source: The WebAIM Million, 2022

A few resources to learn more:


A survey of people in 27 countries found that 9% of people worldwide (720 million) identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum, and perhaps some of the 11% who responded, “don’t know’ or “won’t say” are in the spectrum as well. And, 71% of LGBTQIA consumers say they are more likely to interact with an ad that authentically represents their sexual orientation.

Should LGBTQIA-inclusive design be a UX concern?

Chart showing people who identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum: 3% Lesbian/Gay/Homosexual, 4% Bisexual, 1% Pansexual/Omnisexual, 1% Asexual
Source: LGBT+ Price 2021 Global Survey, Ipsos

A few resources to learn more:


According to United Nations, people ages 65 and older account for 10% of the world population (800 million) in 2022 and will increase to 16% (1.28 billion) in 2050. In the United States, of people ages 55 and over, 75 million are considered mentally, socially, and digitally “active.” Of these “Active Agers,” 66% agree that they are stereotyped in advertising and marketing.

Should age-inclusive design be a UX concern?

Source: Ageism In Advertising: Common Stereotypes And How To Avoid Them

A few resources to learn more:


Prioritizing light skin tones is a global issue which impacts Black, African, Asian Indigenous, and Latino communities, which make up the global majority80% of the world’s population (6.4 billion). The discrimination of darker skin is reflected in the lack of diversity in ad campaigns. A study by Eyecue Insights of 70 beauty brands found about 50% of beauty images feature light skin tones and only 10% feature dark skin tones. After the killing of George Floyd in June 2020 and an increase in demand for racial equity in the United States, the percentage for dark skin tones jumped to almost 25% and quickly began its decline the following month.

Should racial/ethnic-inclusive design be a UX concern?

Chart showing darker skin tones in typically 10% of beauty images vs 50% for light skin tones.
Source: Beauty brands were quick to tout diversity during summer protests, but the commitment was short-lived, Fast Company, 2020

A few resources to learn more:

Final Thoughts

So, should inclusive design be prioritized as a UX concern?

Chart showing that 44% of consumers feel they are not fully represented in advertisements.
Source: Diversity in ads: Are brands doing enough, YouGov, 2021
  • 44% of consumers worldwide (2 out of 5) who feel that they are not fully represented by the people they see in advertisements would say, “yes.”
  • 65% of consumers worldwide who prefer brands that promote diversity and inclusion [video] would say, “yes.”

Now what?
Want to know how you can be more inclusive in your UX design? Learn more about inclusive UX design and learn about UX research, then start engaging with your users.


Thanks for reading. If you know anyone who would find this useful, please share. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact me.

Headshot photo of Trina
written by
Trina Moore Pervall

UX For The Win, UX Researcher & Designer.

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